A summary of key US economic indicators pointed to a 0.3-percent rise in the index for the month of March, new data showed Thursday.
Experts had forecast an increase in the so-called Leading Economic Index of 0.2 percent.
The news comes after a 0.7-percent increase in February and a rise of 0.2 percent in January. March marked the sixth consecutive monthly rise.
"Despite relatively weak data on jobs, home building and output in the past month or two, the indicators signal continued economic momentum," said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, which compiles the data. "We expect a gradual improvement in growth past the summer months."
Ataman Ozyildirim, another Conference Board economist, noted that the data pointed to "a more positive outlook, despite subdued consumer expectations and weakness in manufacturing new orders.
The board's Leading Economic Index is based on data from 10 economic indicators, including first applications for unemployment aid, industrial orders, consumer confidence and new building approvals.
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